Over the long weekend, the Stingray Swim Club took a team of 15 swimmers under the leadership of Coaches Alex Webb and Jason Schmidt with Brac Coach Michael Hundt to Sarasota to take part in the Kent B. Holdren Memorial Meet.
It was a young team, with 13-year-old Abi Drummond the oldest and six-year-old Will Roberts the youngest SSC swimmer on an overseas trip probably since sister Luisa went as a five-year-old in 2002. There was experience in the team though, with five CARIFTA swimmers on the trip.
All the swimmers performed well and a host of personal best times were posted. Despite having only 15 swimmers in a field of over 400 and five swimmers competing in a 50 metre pool for the first time (Will, Michael Titcombe, Hannah Parchment, Hannah Myrie and Isabella Tognazzo), SSC finished third out of 19 visiting teams behind large teams such as Florida Gators and Pine Crest.
At most meets Coral Tomascik would have been the outstanding performer for the club, breaking four club records in the 400m Free, 200m Back, 200m Breast and 100m Backstroke. Coral also achieved AAA Time Standards in three of her events. But her achievements were overshadowed by Danielle Boothe who, on her way to securing the 11-12 High Points Award, broke three club records in the 50m Back, 50m Fly and 200m Breast. She also achieved a AAAA time in the 50m Fly and AAA in five other events. Michael Matthews on his second outing in a 50 metre pool notched up 5th and 6th place finishes in the 100m Back and 50m Back.
Cayman’s latest Olympic qualifier, Brett Fraser, was there as a reminder of what rewards hard work and dedication bring.
Bethany Cleaver and Hannah Parchment performed exceptionally well in their first major competition as 11-year-olds with significant improvements in their times. And Alexander McGrath attained silver in the 200m Fly – the first time he has ever swum the distance.
SSC had five medal winners: Danielle Boothe: three gold, two silver and a bronze; Bethany Cleaver: silver in the 200m back; Alexander McGrath: silver; Amber Myrie: silver in the 50m fly; Coral Tomascik: one silver and two bronze.
Coach Alex Webb thanked the tour managers, Christine Cleaver and Tracy Myrie for all their hard work in putting the trip together as well as to Mr. Tony Cleaver for providing comic relief.
‘I would also like to thank Coaches Jason Schmidt and Mike Hundt for their hard work and long hours on the pool deck in the hot sun. Everyone played a part in making this a wonderfully successful swim meet.
‘Thank you also to the swimmers for the hard work they did before the meet and for putting their head down and getting busy on some very fast swims despite long sessions in the hot sun. The Coaches appreciate your dedication and commitment and for delivering the goods when it counted,’ he said.
‘Congratulations to Will Roberts, the youngest member of our team. At only six-years of age he competed in five events over two days, of which two were 100m events. He did extremely well in all of his events as it was the first time he has swum in a 50m pool. To sum up his performance here is a short story from the meet: One of the coaches told him to aim for a 1:20.00 in his 50m Back event at which Will replied, “No, I want to go a 1:10.00”. His result in the end… 1:10.85. Well done Will, we are all very proud of you and your determination to go fast.’
The Stingray Swim Club would like to thank Cayman Airways for its continued support of Cayman Swimming. Next up for SSC is the traditional Lions Sprint Meet on 31 May and the longer PDL Meet 11-15 June.